Nagpur: The atmosphere in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) turned steamy on Monday when the Chairman of Standing Committee Sudhir Raut went ballistic and spat fire on Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar. The reason: The cash-strapped civic body has stopped issuing fresh orders for development works proposed for the city. This “unpleasant” development upset the cart of Raut as he had earmarked Rs 2,048 crore for carrying out various development works in the election year.
Sources said that despite the Standing Committee approving over 500 development work proposals amounting to Rs 1,100 crore, the civic administration issued no work order. Coming down heavily on the top NMC boss for poor financial situation of the civic body, Raut pointed out that there are various other departments where the civic administration should explore sources of generating revenue. He said the NMC should try to improve revenue from market department, fire department etc, where no revision has taken place for the last many years.
The red-faced Standing Committee chief slammed Hardikar for not implementing decisions of the Committee leading to stalling of the developmental activities. With barely few months to go for civic polls, the outburst of Raut stunned other members of the panel who were present in the meeting when he said that the Municipal Commissioner has lost control over the administration. The Commissioner had directed all Heads of Department (HoDs) to send list of proposed development works by the Corporators and Standing Committee immediately. However, it is learnt that HoDs “snubbed” the order and did not send the report even after 10 days. Raut took this issue seriously and asked the Commissioner, if he had directed HoDs to send the list of works immediately, then why they had failed to follow his order. Who is responsible for the mess and this has ultimately affected the development works in various wards, Raut asked angrily.
The NMC generated Rs 650 crore revenue in the first quarter of the current fiscal, of which it spent only 25% for development works and 75% towards committed expenditure. Given the civic body’s precarious financial situation, even Municipal Commissioner issued an order for a 70% cut in budget for development works. But on the directives from Raut, he revoked his earlier directives to cut 70% budget on developmental works.